time to die

Maurice Kaehler
2 min readSep 15, 2023
Blade Runner (1983)

Dad holds me in a headlock

In a rage, renting tufts of hair off my scalp

With a pair of thin, silver cutting shears.

Hair that I was stroking with my fingers

Moments before

Enjoying its softness that was newly borne

From a steady and tender Central Valley rain.

His body heat filters though

Clothes covered with sweat, oil and cow shit.

Something about this act is blatantly Greek

An initiatory ritual. A confirmation

A supposed entry into manhood.

I think he sees me as a threat.

My hair an act of defiance

And, out of fear, demanding that I be put

In a subservient place.

I run out of the wooden shed.

Past the pole barn holding

The pregnant cows

All lacking milk.

I run out to the nowhere of the farm

Where the rusting hulks of car and equipment

Are left to die.

I climb into the tan and white Studebaker

Freshly arrived and waiting for its coffin.

On the drivers side, just below the window

I pencil the date on the door

April 17, 1976

Time to cry.

Time to die.

Years later, I think.

Why was this ancient rite done?

Unmistakably symbolic

Auspicious, though with unconscious intent.

With his heart, mind and body encased in a Parkinson’s tomb.

I conclude

He did this to me

To get that part of him out of my body.

Years later,

Declutched from the farm

Unknowing of whether

Dad is alive or dead.

He comes to me in a dream and said,

“Thank you for treating me like a king”



Maurice Kaehler

Comprehensivist, Writer, and Systems Thinker/Healer. My experience is my sutra and my body is my prayer.